In a world that so vehemently promotes competition and rat race, stress or anxiety is an inevitable outcome. In today’s times stress not only touches the adults, children can be an unsuspecting victim of it as well. So, here are some pointers for the parents to consider while dealing with an overtly anxious child.
1) Urge your child to face his/her fears, not run away from them.
When we are afraid of scenarios we tend to ignore them. However, averting anxiety-inducing scenarios provides fodder to the anxiety. If a child addresses his or her fears, the child will know that the anxiety decreases on its own gradually over time. The body cannot stay anxious for a very long span of time so there is a framework in the body that soothes the body. Generally your anxiety will recede within 20-45 minutes if you stay in the stress-inducing scenario.
2) Let your child know that it is okay to be imperfect.
Often we feel that it is essential for our children to excel in extra-curricular activities and academics alike. But sometimes we tend to forget that kids are after all kids. This doesn’t mean that striving is not essential. It is important to inspire your child to toil hard but it’s also significant to embrace and accept your child’s shortcoming and imperfections.
3) Focus on the positives.
Many times stressed and anxious children can foster in negative emotions and self-critical attitude. They may perceive that the glass is half empty instead of half full and wonder about future events. The more you focus on your child’s positive qualities, the more it will remind your child to concentrate on the positives.
4) Plan relaxing activities.
Children need time to rejuvenate and be kids. Sadly, sometimes even activities like games and sports, can turn more about win or lose than they are about fun. Instead, it is essential to make sure that your child indulges in play purely for the sake of unadulterated fun. This may involve making time each day for your child to play a game, play with toys, play a sport (without the competitive instincts kicking in), practising yoga, paint, have a tea party, put on a play, or just be silly.
5) Reward your child’s brave behaviours.
If your child encounters his or her fears, reward them with praise, a hug, or even with a sticker or a small treat. This is not bribery if you ascertain this as a motivator before your child faces the situation. If you reward good behaviours your child will be encouraged to follow them more often.
6) Promote good sleep hygiene.
Set a specific bedtime for your child and stick to that time even during the weekends. Also, follow a 30-45 minute bedtime ritual that is done each night. This makes your child switch from the activities of the day to a more relaxed state required to fall asleep.
7) Urge your child to express his/her anxiety.
If your child conveys that he or she is scared or worried, don’t respond with “No you’re not!” or “You’re fine.” That doesn’t really help the child. Instead, it tends to make your child assume that you do not pay attention or do not understand him/her. You should rather justify your child’s experience by saying things like “Yes, you seem upset. What are you anxious about?” Then have a detailed discussion about your child’s emotions and worries.
Alternatively, you can consider taking the help of their peers, teachers or a therapist. Find the best therapists from www.tiyo.in.